Interesting Facts About Vinayaka Chaturthi

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Vinayaka Chaturthi is commonly known as Ganesh Chaturthi. It is one of the greatest festivals of the Hindus that are celebrated with great pomp and show.

Fact 1 Vinayaka Chaturthi – When It Is Celebrated

This Hindu festival is devoted to Lord Ganesh, the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He is known by 108 other names some of which are Vighnahanta or the Destroyer of Hindrances, Ganapati, Ganesha, Vinayaka, Buddhi Pradayaka meaning Giver of Wisdom and Intellect, and many others. His birthday is celebrated on the Hindu calendar month of Bhadrapada on Shukla Chaturthi, which usually falls within the months of August end and beginning of September. The festival is celebrated for 10 days starting from the 4th day of the waxing moon till the 14th day known as Anant Chaturdashi.

Fact 2 Beginning Of The Celebration

Lord Ganesh has always been worshipped as Siddhidata or He who blesses to attain one’s goals from a very long time. According to history, during the era of Chatrapati Shivaji, the Maratha leader, around 1630 and 1680, Vinayaka Chaturthi was a great festival in Pune. After that the Peshwas also supported the celebration. But after a gap of a few years, the worship of Lord Ganapati and celebrating it as a festival all together began during the year 1893. Lokmanya Tilak the great freedom fighter of India, urged the people to unite together to celebrate the birthday of Lord Ganesha and thus inculcate the feelings of patriotism and brotherhood in them.

Fact 3 How The Festival Is Celebrated

Ganeshotsav is enjoyed by people all over the world nowadays. But the most spectacular celebrations are held elaborately in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telengana and other parts of Southern and Western India. The idols of Ganesha are made of mostly clay by skilled artisans. They are painted and decorated gorgeously and then installed in specially constructed structures called pandals or mandapas in every area. The size of the statues varies according to the requirements of the worshippers. Smaller idols are taken home and worshipped by householders separately maintaining austerity and rules of the rituals. Theme-based decorations are unique and the lighting arrangements are just awe-inspiring. Amidst chanting of mantras life is invoked in the idols by the priests. The celebrations and rituals are continued for ten days continuously and then the idol is taken in a great procession through the streets for immersion in the river or sea. Various bands accompany the procession and people go along dancing and showing various acrobatic feats.

Fact 4 Other Activities Accompanying This Festival

Apart from the rituals and distribution of food or prasadam to all the devotees who visit the pandals, other cultural activities and plays are performed in various places. Blood donation-camps and free medical check-ups are organized at the Ganapati festival ground and clothes are distributed to the poor. Sometimes donations are accumulated for relief to disaster-stricken places in different parts of the country.

Fact 5 Beliefs Of The Devotees

People believe that on this auspicious day, Lord Ganesha comes down from the Heavens to the Earth hearing the intense prayers and yearnings of His devotees. Moreover, if someone worships the Lord with true faith and sincerity, he/she is sure to please Him and enjoy His blessings. The largest Ganesha idol is seen in Vishakhapatnam and it is as tall as 70 feet. Modak or Laddoo is His favorite food and so special laddoos are prepared during this time to offer Him during prayers. Today people think that worshipping Ganapati without His favorite sweet is futile and so you will see various sizes of Modak being sold in the shops for people to choose according to their pockets. In every home you will find an idol of Lord Ganesha and everybody bows to Him especially when going out for work.

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